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NEWS STORIES

Teacher accused of selling pot got 'glowing recommendations' during hiring processSubmitted: 11/14/2013
Story By Lex Gray

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RHINELANDER - Police searched a Rhinelander High School teacher's house because they thought he had been stealing equipment from the school.

They say that's when they found 66 marijuana plants and a sophisticated grow operation. Since we reported that story last week, people have been asking how Joshua Juergens got hired in the first place.

"We got glowing recommendations," said superintendent Kelli Jacobi. "I don't know that those were all completely honest."

Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says the district did a background check on Juergens. That check turned up a record, as does a simple online search of Wisconsin's online court records.

In 2010, Juergens was convicted of disorderly conduct. In 1997, he was convicted of marijuana possession, both misdemeanors.

"We did know that there was a drug issue, a misdemeanor, I believe he was 19," Jacobi said. "We look at patterns in behavior. If something is a recurring thing in a background check, that definitely signals a problem."

But Jacobi says she can't factor certain convictions into the hiring process.

For now, Juergens is on unpaid leave from his teaching job. He'll stay in the Oneida County Jail unless he can come up with his $2,000 bail or get into a treatment facility.

He returns to court November 21.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Tomahawk man accused of growing marijuanaSubmitted: 09/15/2014

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TOMAHAWK - A 45 year old Tomahawk man sits in Lincoln County jail facing drug charges after police found marijuana growing on county land.

Last week, deputies were investigating a complaint of possible illegal camping on county land off of County Rd CC in the Town of Wilson. That's where they found a camp site with marijuana being grown.

Police found the suspect at the site yesterday morning.

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Rhinelander District Library hires new directorSubmitted: 09/15/2014

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander District Library will welcome a new director at the end of October.

The library's board hired Virginia Woods Roberts to lead the library.

She's currently the director of the Chippewa Falls Library.

The board interviewed three other candidates.

Roberts has a master's degree in both library science and art.

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Area reservoirs near capacitySubmitted: 09/15/2014

ONEIDA COUNTY - Many area reservoirs can't hold much more water.

Recent heavy rains have raised water levels in many areas of the Northwoods.

This is the dam at the Rainbow Flowage in Oneida County. The flowage is only about five inches below its maximum level.

The Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company controls water levels on many bodies of water in our area.

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Wisconsin election officials scramble on voter IDSubmitted: 09/15/2014

MADISON - Wisconsin election officials are scrambling to deal with the reinstatement of the requirement that voters show photo identification when casting ballots.

The law was reinstated last Friday by a federal appeals court in Chicago, just hours after hearing arguments in the case.

Government Accountability Board spokesman Reid Magney said Monday that the biggest immediate issue is what to do about more than 11,800 absentee ballots that have already been mailed, and perhaps returned, without the voter showing the required identification.

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A small bean earns big recognition this harvest seasonSubmitted: 09/15/2014

WISCONSIN - A little bean earned 'big' recognition this harvest season.
Governor Scott Walker proclaimed September as Soybean month.

Soybeans are important to local communities and also to the state's economy.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Wisconsin farmers will harvest a record amount of soybeans this year.
There are about 11,000 soybean farmers across the state.
The soybean is a part of our everyday life in many ways.

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Insurance expert: Faster you act, sooner you'll have coverage if you lost BadgerCareSubmitted: 09/15/2014

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MADISON - People who lost BadgerCare coverage after changes this year will get another chance to find health insurance on the federal online exchange this fall.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will give those people until November 2nd to enroll.

Security Health Plan Director of Marketing Marty Anderson says the company has insured around 31,000 people in Wisconsin from their plans offered on the federal exchange. He believes the extension was necessary and will help people who were confused by the changes to their coverage.

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Man arrested after 25 dead cows found Submitted: 09/15/2014

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BARRON - Authorities say a 47-year-old western Wisconsin man was arrested after officials discovered 25 dead cows on his farm.

The Barron County sheriff's office says the man was taken into custody Saturday on suspicion of mistreating animals and failing to provide food and drink to animals.

The Leader-Telegram reports the man was booked into jail, released and is due in court next month.

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